New Smilezone location to open at Grand River Hospital

A foundation committed to putting smiles on the faces of young patients and their families will work some more magic this summer at the largest hospital in Waterloo Region.

Smilezone will transform the POGO (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario) satellite centre, located in Grand River Hospital’s children’s outpatient clinic, into a fun play zone complete with games, colourful artwork and gaming technology on June 23rd.

The hospital’s POGO clinic sees more than 650 visits annually from local young cancer patients. Smilezone’s refresh of the space will provide these children with games and fun activities to enjoy while they receive their chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can be long and strenuous for young patients and their families and Smilezone aims to help children endure their treatment in a more pleasant environment. The transformed care space will include new treatment stations featuring
individual televisions for private viewing, iPads, vibrant murals and a play area.

“Cancer can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on the families we care for,” says Irene Harder, program director of the childbirth and children’s programs at Grand River Hospital. “Organizations like Clarky’s Kids and Smilezone are shining examples of community organizations helping local people. We are so grateful for their support and more importantly for helping to put a smile on the faces of our young patients.”

The work planned by the Smilezone Foundation expands on the support that GRH and POGO have received from the Kitchener Rangers Clarky’s Kids program since 2008. Clarky’s Kids provides local kids with cancer the opportunity to experience the excitement of a Kitchener Rangers game from a private suite and visit with players and coaches in and out of the hospital. Clarky’s Kids continues to raise funds for both POGO and the Grand River Hospital Foundation to support local parents and siblings who are dealing with a child experiencing cancer.

Clarky’s Kids is run in partnership with Rangers’ alumnus and 2003 Memorial Cup Champion, David Clarkson, currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Smilezone is pleased to contribute to the efforts of Clarkson and the Kitchener Rangers to improve the lives of young patients and their families, one smile at a time.

Smilezone was co-founded by Scott Bachly, CEO of Bachly Construction, and Adam Graves, member of the New York Rangers organization. Smilezone currently has two locations and will continue to expand across Canada in the years to come.

For more information, please contact:
Cheryl Evans, Communications Officer
Office: (519) 749-4300 extension 3899
Cell: (519) 575-1530

Meaghan Plomp, Smilezone
Office: 905-951-2978 | Twitter @GRHospitalKW | Youtube: griverhosp